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Exploring the big questions

Thursday October 15, 2015

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For students of Religious Studies, visiting new places and learning about new religious ideas helps them to develop and understand different ways of life and worship. 

Rome is the perfect destination for Religious Studies students, offering a fascinating slice of life from opposite sides of the social spectrum and truly fascinating contrasts within the Christian and Catholic faiths. 

To discover more about the history of Rome, known as 'The Eternal City', a walking tour is a must as it is easily accessible and a great way to piece together the story of this city in a short space of time. 

Our guides can bring to life the history of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum or expertly support you around all the sights of the Vatican City.

St Peter's Basilica 

Plan a trip to the famous church of St Peter's Basilica regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites in the World. 

As well as being the burial site of St Peter, the tomb of John Paul II is located in the grottoes below the floor and is a popular attraction for groups planning a visit.

During the Easter weekend, a very popular time to visit Rome, the Pope delivers a blessing from the balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica following a special Easter Sunday mass in St Peter's Square. While this event is free to attend, tickets are generally booked up months in advance, so careful planning is necessary if religious studies classes wish to witness this momentous spectacle.

Vatican Museums And Sistine Chapel 

The Vatican Museums and the official residence of the Pope occupy part of the palaces and are home to one of the most extensive art collections in the world. 

A must see on your trip to Rome is a visit to see the infamous frescoes that decorate the interior by Michelangelo!

Santa Maria Maggiore

Well known for its outstanding ancient architecture, the Santa Maria Maggiore is full of fascinating paintings, mosaics, and sculptures. Particularly spectacular are the 5th century mosaics in the triumphal arch and nave, depicting Old Testament scenes, leaving your students wanting to know more about the big unanswered questions.

The Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica is open every working day however it does have early closures during the winter months. 

St Paul Outside The Walls

This is one of the main Basilica's in Rome and also one of the largest in the world. It gives you an idea of what true Roman Basilica's must have looked like. Tours will take you on a journey of the burial site of the apostle Paul, and students can learn its history from the days of Emperor Constantine.

The Colosseum

Situated just east of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and is the largest amphitheatre built in the Roman Empire.

During Easter when tens of thousands of people flock to the city in pilgrimage, custom sees the Pope lead a torch lit procession known as the 'Way of the Cross' around the Colosseum to re-enact the 14 Stations of the Cross. During the procession, many churches in the surrounding area also hold classical music concerts in tribute to this solemn occasion.

Roman Forum

This was once the heart of Ancient Rome and the centre of public life. It is the site of public speeches, trials and commercial transactions. Adjacent to the entrance of the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, it's definitely worth taking a tour around the area. 

Palatine Hill

One of the Seven Hills of Rome and one of the most ancient parts of the city, according to Roman mythology Palatine Hill is where Rome was founded. Ideally located looking down on to the Roman Forum, this became the home of several Roman Emperors. If taking a walking tour up the hill, towards the top there is the Palatine Museum containing some of the Roman sculpture and finds excavated at the site.

The Pantheon

Housed on the square known as the Piazza della Rotonda, the Pantheon is a magnificent ancient temple and burial place to the infamous Raphael. Since the seventh century it has been used as a church dedicated to St Mary. Dating from AD125 it is the most superb architectural monument to have survived intact from Ancient Rome. 

Get in touch with one of WST's Religious Studies subject specialists to learn more about the incomparable learning opportunities Rome offers for students studying the Catholic faith.

Learning Outcomes for Religious Studies Students

Exploration - Groups can explore a variety of religions and beliefs.

Understanding - Students will discover different places and styles of worship.

Questioning - Pupils can consider fundamental questions and ethics.

Reflection - Classes can reflect and develop on their values and attitudes.